Rebels overcome Southern Miss in 12-inning thriller

Posted on Apr 4 2017 - 11:21pm by Nathan Bailey

Ole Miss baseball beat No. 17 Southern Miss in Pearl by a score of 6-5 after 12 innings Tuesday night.

The Rebels entered the match determined to overcome a tough weekend after getting swept by Mississippi State in three games. Freshman pitcher Greer Holston started on the mound for the Rebels and lasted four innings before the Rebels’ head coach, Mike Bianco, pulled the plug. During his shift, Holston let up four hits, four runs and had two walks. He has yet to receive a win in his inaugural season as a pitcher for the Rebels.

The Golden Eagles jumped on the Ole Miss defense early and often. Luckily for the Rebels, relief pitching continued to be a strength. The bullpen kept the game close throughout the extra inning affair and let the Rebels’ offense take the reins.

Again, fortune seemed to favor Bianco’s men Tuesday night as the sputtering Ole Miss offense found its wheels again. After a weekend devoid of hits or runs, the Rebel hitters got runners across the plate and left hardly anyone stranded. Junior second baseman Tate Blackman led the way with a hit, a run, a walk and an RBI.

Behind the plate, catcher Nick Fortes received a fourth consecutive start in five games and managed the pitching rotation well as the match progressed.

Southern Miss starter Taylor Braley kept the the Rebels’ offense at bay until the sixth inning, when the offense exploded for three runs and brought the game back within reach. Southern Miss’ relief pitching finally slowed the rallying Rebel offense after the team equalized the game at four.

Leadoff man Dylan Burdeaux carried the Golden Eagles after going three for five at the plate and driving in one RBI. The Rebels entered the eighth inning down one run and had a chance to equalize but failed to convert with a runner in scoring position.

Ole Miss equalized the game in the ninth inning off a wild pitch. Pinch runner DJ Miller then advanced to third off another wild pitch. Southern Miss was forced to make a fifth pitching change for the night that took care of Blackman and sent the game into extra innings.

The game finally ended in the 12 inning when yet another wild pitch allowed Jason Barber to score the winning run. Though the night was full of ups and downs for either team, including numerous chances for Ole Miss to put the game away, the Rebels were finally able to snap their losing streak just in time for a big SEC West series against rivals University of Alabama. The Crimson Tide represents a formidable challenge for the Rebels, one that will require a complete Ole Miss pitching and hitting performance to overcome.